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Alyson Stephen was found guilty of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and sentenced to 35 years in the Indiana Department of Correction.


ELWOOD, Ind. — A Madison County judge has handed down a sentence in connection to the death of a toddler.

Jacob Wootton, 29, received a 52-year sentence after pleading guilty in December to charges of neglect of a dependent resulting in death and other various drug charges. An earlier murder charge against Wootton has been dismissed.

Wootton was 26 when his 2-year-old stepson died in his care in October of 2018.

Court documents show on October 26, 2018, Wootton told police he had forgot about the toddler in the tub. Wootton said he believed the boy had fell and hit his head while he was checking on two other kids in the house.

The child had multiple bruises on his body, and Wootton said at the time, he smacked the boy a few times and bit him on the face to try to get him to wake up. He also waited 20 minutes to call 911, according to prosecutors.

The toddler was pronounced dead at the hospital on Oct. 29. The coroner ruled the child died from blunt force trauma and also had a hemorrhage in an optic nerve.

During an interview with police, one of the boy’s siblings said, “Jake gives baths but also whoops us too.”

The boy’s mother, Alyson Stephen, was at work during the incident. She was also charged with neglect of a dependent resulting in death. No trial date has been set for her yet.

Stephen and Wootton have since divorced.